July 17, 2010

Zach saves the day!

Today had the best intentions for being a non-freaky dinnertime day. Then, before I knew it, a 6:30 nap sounded SO good and before I could let out a snore, it was 9:30 and Zach was (very nicely) shaking me awake. lol

Since it was so late, I'm glad we had planned a very veggie dinner. It was equal parts healthy veggies and deliciously bad for you heavy cream, cheese, carbs and butter. :D

It's no secret that we lurve The Pioneer Woman around these parts, so naturally, we've made her Pasta Primavera. For the record, Zach picked the dinner and made the vast majority of it, all the while listening to hiphop and rap on the kitchen stereo. :D There's a reason I keep that cutie pie around... ;)

PW's Pasta Primavera


* 1 cup Bite-sized Broccoli Pieces (up To 1 1/2 Cups)
* ½ whole Onion Diced Finely
* 3 cloves To 4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped Finely
* 2 whole Medium To Large Carrots, Sliced On The Bias (diagonally)
* 2 whole Medium Zucchini, Sliced On The Bias (diagonally)
* 1 whole Medium Yellow Squash (optional)
* 1 container (about 5 Oz.) White Button Or Baby Porcini Mushrooms, Roughly Sliced
* 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Into Strips
* 4 Tablespoons Butter
* 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
* 1 pound Pasta (I like little shapes, like bowties)
* ¼ cups Dry White Wine (up To 1/2 Cup), Optional (replace With Additional Broth If Not Using)
* ½ cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
* 1 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
* 1 cup Half-and-half
* ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
* 5 leaves Basil (or More To Taste), Plus Extra For Garnish
* ½ cups Frozen Peas (optional, especially considering Jennifer finds them to be freaky)

Preparation Instructions

First, prep the vegetables. Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ cups worth. Dice half a yellow onion. Chop 3 to 4 cloves of garlic. Slice carrots on the bias (diagonally), and do the same for the zucchini and yellow squash. Roughly slice the mushrooms and slice the red pepper (seeded) into strips.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic together and cook for a minute or two, until they start to turn translucent. Then throw in the broccoli. Stir, and add in the carrots.

Stir it around, and PLEASE, PLEASE cook it for only a minute, tops. Transfer the mixture to a plate. Add in the red pepper strips to the skillet. Stir them around for a minute or so, then transfer them to the plate.

Add pasta to slightly salted boiling water and cook to al dente.

Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Add squash and zucchini, cook for less than a minute, then transfer to plate. Cook mushrooms for a minute or two (add salt to taste), and again transfer to the plate.


To make the sauce, pour ¼ to ½ cup dry white wine into the skillet (see note below). Add ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth, a tablespoon of butter and scrape the bottom of the skillet to pull up the flavor left behind by the veggie cooking. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the liquid starts to thicken.

Add 1 cup whipping cream and 1 cup half-and-half. Measure out ½ cup grated Parmesan; add to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chiffonade 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves and add that to the sauce; stir.

Dump veggies and mushrooms into the sauce along with ½ cup frozen peas right out of the freezer. Add pasta al dente and stir. If the sauce seems a little thick, or if there doesn’t seem to be enough sauce, add a good splash of chicken broth and a little more half-and-half. Top with more Parmesan, salt, pepper, and basil to taste.

Note: if you’re averse to wine, add chicken broth instead. But watch the salt later.

Oh man, this was epic. I scarfed it down in a manner most unladylike. lol! Enjoy!!!

No comments: